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Inspection Ordered As Road Toll Bites In Champassak

Source: Vientiane Times

Champassak provincial authorities will soon order an inspection of Road No. 16 including accurate details on the construction budget as the government contemplates plans to purchase the project rights from the private construction company.

The government signed a concession with Duangdy Bridge-Road Construction Company allowing the company to collect fees for a period of 45 years. Yet road users are not happy about the tolls being collected on this road, which they say are relatively expensive. There are two points for collecting tolls, according to an official.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a notice recently requiring the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to set task force team with related sectors to the inspection of Road No. 16 and detailed budget for construction for send to the government as it contemplates buying out rights in the project from the Duangdy Bridge-Road Construction Company.

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“We have already received notice from the government and are waiting for agreement from the taskforce”, Public Works and Transport Department of Champassak province director Mr Soukkaseum Pakdimanivong told Vientiane Times yesterday.

“We expect to start the inspection and negotiation with the company next week. The operation of inspection and negotiation is expected to finish soon after and is expected to be presented to the government before the end of this year,” he said.

“In recent years, many people have complained about the toll fees being so expensive,” Mr Soukkaseum said. Motorists began being charged toll fees on August 17, 2016, with the toll payable varying depending on the type of vehicle they are driving, according to officials.

Based on the fee schedule, cars drivers are required to pay 20,000kip, and mini-bus operators 25,000-30,000.

Meanwhile, 35-seat buses are charged 40,000 kip and heavy trucks or trailers 80,000 kip per one way on this route from the Lao-Japan Bridge to Vangtao-Chongmek International Border Checkpoint.

Southern road users are complaining about the imposition of tolls at two points along the road in Champassak province which runs over a distance of 42 kilometres from the Lao-Japan Mekong Bridge to Vangtao-Chongmek International Border Checkpoint between Laos and Thailand.

Just after the Lao-Japan Mekong Bridge, there is a toll booth while the second is located near the Lao-Thai border.